Make hollow body sound like solid body?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Bodeanly, May 2, 2019.


  1. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Hey all,

    I recently purchased a hollow body bass. It feels and looks amazing (which is why I got it), but I'm not a huge fan of how "tonally challenged" it is. Has anyone had any luck making a hollow body sound like a solid body-ish by adding a different pickup(s) or something? Maybe filling the body with foam? I would prefer to play it live without pausing to adjust much if I'm switching between it and another bass. The band covers everything from 50's rock, to disco, to 90's pop, etc.

    Do any of you currently use a hollow body in a live setting and actually dig its sound? Is it possible to still get clanky and growly when I need to? Or did I just buy a designated couch noodler? I'm hoping it's as simple as replacing a pickup.

    Forever yours,
    Bodeanly
     
  2. Coolhandjjl

    Coolhandjjl

    Oct 13, 2010
    Appleton
    What bass?
     
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  3. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    I play hollow, semi-hollow, chambered and solid body basses pretty much interchangeably. To me they don't sound all that different, but I don't mind them sounding different since I like all their sounds. I gig any of them depending on my mood.

    As long as I like the sound of a bass, I really don't care if it sounds different from other basses I own. To me, that's the point of owning different basses; I don't want them to sound the same. Maybe it's not really a problem if you consider taking that approach.​
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  4. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Gretsch G5442BDC

    I wish it had a cool model name. I've just been calling it Mr. Gretschypants. :woot:
     
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  5. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    Over the years I've learned to embrace the hollow body’s unique quirkiness. It can’t duplicate a solid body for punch & definition. I only use it when we do a strip down trio gig when the drummer bangs on a djembe and hi hat. There are rare occasions when it works on certain songs with the full kit quartet, but only a few.

    So to answer your question, no. If you want the vibe of a hollow and the tone of a solid, semi hollow is the closest you’ll get.
    278B81AE-E0B8-4CED-BD50-5669FD27065D.jpeg 03839D57-9284-44E3-80AC-D7C945244E28.jpeg
     
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  6. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    This.
     
  7. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    I'm not trying to say that it has to sound exactly like my other basses, but I can't get much growl out of it and there's a significant decrease in volume between it and my other basses. Just want it to be louder with the ability to growl.
     
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  8. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Is that a Verythin? Are those semi-hollow?

    (I guess I could google it. Sorry.)
     
  9. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    No, this.
     
  10. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    It’s a reissue 6072 Gretsch hollow body. The thinner body virtually eliminates feedback.
    B5D3582E-450A-46E9-8E4F-E4E2C80E7185.jpeg
     
  11. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    We have pretty much the same thing, but mine's a shorty. How close are your strings to the pickups (roughly)?
     
  12. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Wow! That first fret is WAAAY out there. One reason my G6072 spends most of its time in the case.
     
  13. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    I’m on the road so can’t measure, sorry. But they’re pretty close.
     
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  14. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    Not really, just looks like that. If you install a strap button under the neck heal it shifts the bass to the right a bit. Plus I have Neanderthal arms. Think we discussed this before. Hope you don’t mind another gratuitous pic.
    2541A306-6E7B-4541-93B8-558314C36633.jpeg
     
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  15. GretschWretch

    GretschWretch Supporting Member

    Dec 27, 2013
    East Central Alabama
    Yeah, we did discuss it; but I have manatee arms.
     
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  16. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Kentucky
    At least you don’t have to worry about dragging knuckles.:D
     
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  17. Sub-hoo-fer

    Sub-hoo-fer

    Nov 27, 2015
    Virginia
    Room for a TC Spark on the board to give a little boost?
     
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  18. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    There's a boost built into my Bass Fly Rig that I don't currently use. Maybe I'll give that a try after I raise the pickups. Good idea with the boost!
     
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  19. 40Hz

    40Hz Supporting Member

    May 24, 2006
    home
    The Filter-Trons those are loaded with sound like Filter-Trons and nothing else. They have a distinct character. You like it or you don’t.

    Couple that with a short scale neck and a hollow body, and what you hear is what you get: an iconic retro-vintage vibe.

    With some judicious EQ-ing, some limiting, and a HPF to cut out some unwanted lower end, you’ll be able to rein in some of its sonic footprint. But it pretty much is the bass it is. Very usable in a group setting depending on the volume, the music, and the band. But it’s not ever going to be a modern sounding bass IMO. We’re talking classic early to mid 60s sound here.

    So, the short answer to your question is “no” in my opinion. I really like that sort of sound. But it’s not going to be everyone’s cuppa.
     
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  20. Bodeanly

    Bodeanly

    Mar 20, 2015
    Chicago
    Very detailed and muchos appreciated. I love the bass, regardless, but I don't see it getting much, if any, time on stage. I'll have to spend more time with it. Thanks, man.
     

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